TWO more white crosses will be added to Clarence Valley roads after two men in their 50s died in a head-on between two trucks on the Gwydir Highway west of Grafton on Monday afternoon.
Emergency services were called just after 2.15pm on Monday to reports the vehicles, a tipper truck and a cattle truck, had collided head on approximately 50km west of Grafton near Jackadgery.
Coffs/Clarence Local Area Command duty officer Acting Inspector Dallas Leven said upon police reaching the scene it was established the male drivers of both trucks, both aged in their 50s, died at the scene.
"There was another passenger in one of the trucks who was able to free himself from the wreckage and was taken to Grafton Base Hospital for minor injuries," Acting Insp Leven said.
"The Gwydir Hwy was closed for many hours and only reopened yesterday morning. It was an episode that went on all night, and it was lengthy process in righting the vehicle. Actually removing the trucks (from the highway) took most of the night.
"It was a chaotic scene and traumatic for police and other emergency services and volunteers who attended the scene. One of the trucks was rolled onto its side, completely blocking the road, and the area was strewn with a number of dead cattle and debris from the collision itself."
Acting Insp Leven said the cattle truck was travelling east and carrying around 55 head of cattle at the time of the collision.
"Many of those cattle died as a result of the collision and many others had to be euthanised at the scene," Acting Insp Leven said.
"The animals that had to be destroyed was done humanely at the scene, there was a vet on the scene able to assist in doing that."
Acting Insp Leven said the section of road proved to be a challenge for emergency services.
"It's a unique area in that it's the bottom of Gibraltar range, it's winding and it's narrow and there was a large embankment on one side of the road which probably prevented one of the trucks from getting out of the way of the other," he said.
Officers from Coffs/Clarence Local Area Command attended and are investigating the circumstances surrounding the crash with a report to be prepared for information of the Coroner.
"Police from Coffs/ Clarence LAC as well as specialist invest trying to work out why one of the vehicles appears to have crossed onto the incorrect side of the road and had a collision," Acting Insp Leven said.